Scientists are traditionally known to belong to laboratories and research centers. Their lives revolve around research, experiments, reports, and lots of complicated stuff. It is quite demanding being a scientist of any kind, but one misconception that has to be quashed is that the job requires the scientist’s physical presence.
If you're a scientist, going freelance is actually possible. It can actually enable you to dedicate more time to what you do, stay focused, and practice patience because some tasks can take a very long time. How then can you become a successful freelance scientist? You just have to start. You already have the passion for science, the necessary knowledge in the field, and maybe even a job. Whether you aim to freelance on the side, or do it full-time, the rest that you have to do is entirely doable.
1. Narrow to a Specific Scientific Field: Narrow it down to your interests. Be it chemistry, engineering or physics. Are you inclined more towards human beings, plants, or animals? This way, you will be able to attract specific clientele over time and build a reputation as an authority in the field. Nothing pulls clients to freelancers better than that.
2. Hone Your Language Skills: When you freelance, you are communicating your ideas to the world. Always working on improving your communication skills. Otherwise, you might lose them in your jargon and scientific terms with tongue-twisting pronunciations. Note that some clients are not informed or scientifically inclined. Get to their level when communicating tricky concepts.
3. Join a Community: Join a group that shares the same interest and go through the same challenges. Their advice and encouragement can motivate you. People share lots of information with each other; from tips to how to ace an online interview to ideas on who is hiring in your field. When you falter, you will have people to encourage you to keep going.
4. Market Your Services: Marketing is the pillar that holds successful businesses and triggers their growth. There aren't that many scientists in the world, and you can easily penetrate the market if your services are carefully packaged and professionally marketed. As you start, you may have to accept low-paying jobs or even volunteer at some point. It doesn’t diminish your value, but it can help you prove that you are really good at what you do. In the end, you get to enjoy referrals with more clients and grow your freelance career.
5. Invest in Relevant Equipment: Whether you are a freelance scientist specializing in scientific writing or a physics guru, you definitely will require some tools of trade. Identify what you need to work in the comforts of your own space.
Science-based professionals are no longer confined to laboratories. You can earn a lot by working as a freelance scientist.